Head Coach Mike Vrabel


What did you like about Malik Willis today?

There were some things we talked about him improving. Communication between him and Todd (Downing) during the game, his ability to get us to the line of scrimmage efficiently, his ability to keep his eyes downfield. Numerous times, him sliding up in the pocket. I thought the keeper was a great play. Treylon (Burks) could easily run, kept his eyes downfield and attacked the line of scrimmage. Then the touchdown pass, to be able to get something that he had a similar look on last week, trying to get a catch-and-run to Treylon. It's funny how those things kind of sometimes resurface. Always learning. I love his attitude, like all these other guys.

How did you feel Logan Woodside performed?

I thought it was fantastic. I thought he was excited about going in there. He's earned the right to go in there and win. Guys responded and he got us in the right checks. Threw a great ball to Dez (Fitzpatrick), wasn't able to come down with it, and then scrambled when he got back up. All the things that he's been working on, especially down in the red zone when it opens up like that, he's done that in practice. I wasn't shocked.

Why did Treylon Burks return to play in the game?

He wanted to play. That was exciting. I looked at him and said, 'Can you do your job?' He was cleared and wanted to play, and he went in there. I watched him try to dig out a safety and not flinch, catch a pass, and do all the things we ask him to do.

Was Malik Willis passing to Racey McMath another example of him keeping his eyes down the field?

We have to try to hit some more. We had too many drops, but there were some real positive things. And then we talked about not going out of the back of the pocket. I don't think he did tonight once. I think he's realizing where you can really make some hay on those scrambles. There are some times where I'd rather him not cut back in 10 yards from first down. I don't think there's anything good that can come from that. A lot of things that we can build on.

Did you like the hustle play by Joe Jones?

Fantastic, I told Joe (Jones) as he was walking off. We just have had a ton of those where we play great on first or second downs inside the one or two-yard line, and then the guy made a play on third down. Fantastic job by Joe (Jones) of defending every blade of grass and saying, 'I'm going to try to get him down.' You never know what could happen in this game.

What kinds of conversations are you having with your players getting ready for the regular season?

All the conversations between me and players are going to hopefully stay between me and the players.

Do you think that players were able to get work done tonight going into the regular season?

I'm just trying to do what's best for everybody to get them ready for the regular season.

How much stress do you think is on the defense that is going against Malik Willis?

We've just seen from so many different quarterbacks, as these athletic mobile quarterbacks have continued to go through college and be successful and productive, they make their way into the NFL. And it's hard to defend a guy that can beat you a lot of different ways. He can beat you throwing in the pocket. He can beat you outside of the pocket throwing and can extend plays. Then he can also beat you by turning it up and running. There's a lot of guys that we're going to defend like that. It's difficult.

How would you define the progress Malik Willis has made as far as being able to judge what to do during a game?

I think that's just a feel thing especially in that position, maybe playing where he played, being able to get away with some things. We talked about that last week, like an ability pool and wherever you were playing last year probably may not be the same ability pool on a quarterback that you have on Sunday. I think he learned that lesson, and then you move on.

What could Malik Willis have done differently on the pick he threw?

I thought he got it back. So hopefully we can throw it around their hands or knock their hands out.

How did you feel about Ryan Stonehouse's 64-yard punt that landed at the Arizona seven?

We're just still working some plus-50 stuff. We have to be able to reserve the right to punt and try to pin guys in. There were certainly some impressive punts. That's part of just the whole – whether you're backed up and you need a big ball or you have to be able to try to get them inside the 10-yard line. We did that a couple of times but had a couple of touchbacks as well.

What did Nicholas Petit-Frere do to set himself apart and win the starting job?

That just felt like he gives us the best chance right now.

What does it mean to have guys on the team that grew up Titans fans?

I think it's probably pretty cool for now. I think they're great people, the little bit of time I've had to spend with both of them. It's cool that they're back here. It's cool to see their families. I saw Theo (Jackson)'s family and met them at practice a couple times and was able to visit with them. It was a unique thing that anybody gets to do, and be a part of the National Football League and to be able to it where you grew up is probably even more special.

Is where the team is right now kind of where you expected and where you hoped this team would be two weeks before the season?

It's close. Injury-wise, we'll see where we're at coming out of this game. There are still a lot of things that we have yet to do and we're going to continue to improve. I'm excited about the week that we have to prepare. We will do some things against ourselves and start looking towards the Giants.

Has Rashad Weaver shown enough this preseason to earn a role beyond special teams?

We'll see when we start gameplanning for the regular season. But (Rashad) Weaver comes to work every single day. He's out there and he will take as many reps as you want him to take or as he can take. He's never asking to come off. He just keeps getting better. I love his competitiveness.

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